A patent filed by Nintendo in 2014 is now open to the public, revealing an intriguing camera and projector device that may have ties to the Nintendo NX console.
Two years ago, Nintendo filed a patent for a device capable of scanning multiple objects via a camera and mirror device, which could output images via a light-source projector. The patent wasn’t available to the public until yesterday, but it didn’t take long for technical Nintendo fans to begin parsing the patent files in attempt to find out what the device could possibly be used for.
The patent was filed by none other than Fumihiko Inoue, who is an employee of Nintendo’s Development Engineering Department. He currently has three patents with the company, and was heavily involved in the circuit design of the Nintendo 3DS. It goes without saying that Inoeu is an engineer who knows his stuff, and evidently has experience putting his patents into practice.
Like most patents, the documents weren’t made with ease-of-reading in mind. The full title of the patent is called “Information processing system, information processing program, information processing method and imaging device”, which is a very long way of stating that the device is able to detect surroundings, accept inputs, and project an output based on the input. Some have guessed that this may be a peripheral that can scan multiple Amiibo at the same time, but so far Nintendo has remained silent in regards to the speculation.
The device is also capable of wireless transmission with a computer, which makes it quite the versatile information processing system.
While the device certainly looks somewhat similar to the NFC reader of the Nintendo 3DS, the patent item uses a camera to photograph and detect the area around it (somewhat like Microsoft’s Kinect sensor), although it also has the aforementioned light-source projector. As the above figure shows, the device isn’t very large in size, with the camera lens area only capable of detecting a portion of a human finger up close.
Since the patent was filed long after the Nintendo Wii U was already launched, many are speculating this patent is related to the rumor-besieged Nintendo NX, which may be launching later this year. So far, most of the rumors have been pure speculation and hearsay, but the evidence of Inoeu’s patents grants a lot more credibility than even the most impressive Photoshop job. Using a projector in the newest console would certainly make the console stand out from the crowd, though not every gamer would want to sacrifice crisp HD visuals for the sake of a bigger projection.
We’ll keep you posted if more news regarding the patent surfaces.
What do you think about the patent, Ranters?